Research, Science and Technology has been identified as number one pillar in the national vision 2050 to drive PNG for the attainment of a middle income country before 2050. The onset of the National Vision 2050 requires that science, engineering, development research, occupational psychology and social policy will play a pivotal role in determining the activities of the Council beyond 2030.
Since the approval by NEC (NEC Decision No: 17/2008) to establish the PNG Research, Science and Technology Council, the OHE has been providing secretariat support for the Council as provided for under the 1992 Science and Technology Act whilst waiting for the Council to be appointed. The appointment of the Council is critical given the commencement of the Vision 2050 in 2009.
Purpose of the RST Council
The Council will play an advisory role to Government relating to issues concerning research for development and science and technology. The Council will spearhead research and development (R&D) in science and technology that contribute meaningfully to economic, technological and social development in Papua New Guinea, especially the technological changes outlined in the Papua New Guinea Development Strategic Plan 2030.
- Functions of the RST Council as stipulated in Section 3 of the 1992 Science and Technology Act;
- The gathering of information of scientific and technological activities taking place or being planned or required and, through a process of analysis and consultation, determine their positive and negative implications and the optimum course of action;
- Maintaining liaison with stakeholders in Papua New Guinea and any international bodies to ensure cross-sectoral consideration of scientific and technological issues;
- Advising the NEC, Central Agencies, Government Departments and appropriate bodies regarding the merits, implications, relative priority, potential duplication and other resource requirements of policies, programmes and projects relating to research, science and technology;
- Reviewing and coordinating prospective aid projects specifically relating to science and technology and to advice for additional donor assistance;
- Facilitating effective links – including joint research and the exchange of specialists between universities, research institution, statutory authorities and private sector;
- Conducting technological assessments on the potential social, economical and cultural impacts of projects, and thus anticipate and plan for these consequences;
- Establishing working groups and sub-committees to implement other such arrangements as the need arises;
- Sponsoring and supporting scientific and technological activities, awarding and encouraging the awarding of grants for research, training scholarships, pilot applications, visits, conferences, exhibitions, displays, publications and other forms of information dissemination, and;
- Advising the NEC and Central Agencies of Government regarding the use of presently available financial resources, facilities, scientists, technologist, educators and trainers.
Medium Term Focus of the RSTC
The onset of the National Vision 2050 requires that science, engineering, development research, occupational psychology and social policy will play a pivotal role in determining the activities of the Council beyond 2030.
Science and Technology has been identified as a tool for development within the trend of Vision 2050. Therefore it is essential that the Council must deal with technological issues being implied in the Vision 2050, example;
- Emerging Industrial Technology for downstream processing;
- Infrastructure Technology for the corridor plans;
- Knowledge Based Technology (computer related);
- Science and Technology Education, and;
- Investment of 5% of the GDP for Research and Development.
RST Council Members
The RST Council will consist of the Chairman and ten Councilors, each of whom should have expertise and experience in administration, research for development, and science and technology.
The Councilors are to be;
- Appointed for a period of three years and shall be eligible for re-appointment, and
- Appointed on such terms and conditions as are determined by the Minister for Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology.
Alternate Council Members
- For each of the Councilors referred to in Section 5 (1) (b) of the 1992 Papua New Guinea Science and Technology Act, each alternate shall be appointed in the same manner and subject to the same conditions as the full member for whom he/she is the alternate.
- An alternate member may attend meeting of the Council but shall not, except were he or she is attending in the absence of the full member for whom he/she is the alternate, take part in the meetings or be counted towards a quorum.
- In the event of the absence or inability of the member to act in relation to a matter or to exercise and perform his/ her powers and functions under this Act, his /her alternate;
- May act in relation to the matter, or;
- Has and may exercise and perform all or any of the powers and functions of the member.
Members of the Council are required to at least have experience or expertise in some of the following areas:
- Natural Sciences
- Biological Science
- Research & Development
- Infrastructure Development
- Sociology and Anthropology
- Public Policy & Administration
- Climate Change
- Industrial Development
The selections and appointment of the Science and Technology Council members is regulated by the PNG Science and Technology Act 1992 and the Statutory Regulatory Authorities Act (appointment of other Officers) 2004.